Hungarian President Visiting Slovenia Friday, Saturday (Background)

By , 18 Oct 2018, 11:49 AM Politics
Hungarian President Janos Ader and the nation's flag Hungarian President Janos Ader and the nation's flag Wikimedia, public domain

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Viktor Orbán is the Prime Minister. 

STA, 17 October 2018 - Hungarian President Janos Ader will be in Slovenia on Friday and Saturday for his second official visit to the country and his third official meeting with Borut Pahor.

The Slovenian president's office said the latest visit was part of Slovenia's efforts to preserve exemplary and genuinely friendly relationships with all four neighbouring countries.

Pahor is expected to use the opportunity of the meeting to call for further strengthening of links between Hungary and Slovenia and for good cooperation within the EU and regional associations.

Bilateral issues will also be broached, including the status of the respective ethnic minority in the other country.

The agenda is likely to include discussions on bilateral trade and investment trends and bilateral projects, development of the Three Seas Initiative, the EU's future and the Western Balkans.

Pahor last visited Hungary on an official trip in September 2015, and Ader made an official visit to Slovenia in May 2013.

In October 2016, Ader and Pahor met at a Slovenian farm in the village of Felsöszölnök on the Hungarian side of the border, before taking a joint cycling trip of the border area populated by Hungarian and Slovenian minorities.

Hungary is home to about 5,000 ethnic Slovenians, including 3,000 in the western-most part of Hungary which is known as Porabje in Slovenian.

As is tradition ahead of official trips, Pahor will receive representatives of the Slovenian minority in Hungary on Thursday.

The Slovenian community in Hungary has an advocate in the Hungarian parliament, Erika Köleš Kiss, but she does not have a right to vote in the legislature.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian minority in Slovenia's Prekmurje region, has its full-fledged deputy at the Slovenian National Assembly, Ferenc Horvath.

In the 2002 census, 6,243 people declared themselves as members of the Hungarian minority and 7,713 stated Hungarian as their mother tongue, but in the 2011 population count ethnicity data were no longer collected.

Hungary ranks sixth among Slovenia's leading trading partners. Merchandise trade has been on the increase in recent years as have investments and services trade, in particular in logistics, transport and tourism.

The Koper port is the most important port for Hungary and Hungary is the second biggest market for the company managing Slovenia's sole maritime port.

The previous Slovenian government was in talks on Hungary's involvement in the construction of a new railway between Koper and Divača, but the Marjan Šarec government is yet to decide on the issue.

The countries have also been in talks on cooperation in the construction of the power transmission line between Cirkovce and Pince on the Hungarian border and in the construction of cross-border road links.

Slovenia exported EUR 767m worth of goods to Hungary last year, while merchandise imports from there amounted to EUR 1.1bn, which means Slovenia had a trade deficit of EUR 304m.

Between January and July this year, Slovenia's merchandise exports to Hungary were a little over EUR 500m, while imports totalled EUR 657m.

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